The Beattock Station Action Group made further progress towards the re-opening of Beattock Station at a consultation meeting with Abellio, an international railway company who are putting in a bid to run the ScotRail franchise from 2014.
The Abellio representatives wanted to meet with the Beattock Station Action Group (BSAG) to ascertain the public demand for services from the station and to see for themselves the existing old station and assess the amount of work that would be required to make it serviceable for trains.
They were pleased to hear of the research undertaken both in the political arena and of public opinion; complimenting the group on their work to date.
Given the importance of this international rail company, who have already set up an office in Glasgow to work on their bid, this was a prestigious and opportune meeting for the group, campaigning to re-establish a halt at Beattock.
In their bid to the Scottish Parliament, Abellio are required to state how they would run an integrated service and consider this in the light of evidence from their consultations. The 2 representatives of Abellio were very interested in the draft copy of the group’s report, “The Public Demand for Beattock Station”, based on the results from our questionnaire in the local community.
Abellio, who were very impressed with our efforts so far, promised to stay in contact during the process of their bid. There are 4 other companies bidding for the Scotrail franchise: First Group, National Express, Arriva and MTR.
Members of the Beattock Station Action Group were pleased to show the Abellio representatives around the station site to explain the logistics of the track and existing installations and later, all of the group members had a very positive meeting with them. They were impressed with the group, who they said showed a good knowledge base and were obviously supported by a high level of public interest and encouraged the group to be persistent.
Chairman Martin Brown said, ‘It was a really positive meeting and good to hear that Abellio are experienced operators committed to Community transport, are very keen to win the ScotRail franchise and are investing all their resources to win the bid.
We are soon to make available the results of our research in a reader friendly publication to progress our campaign through SWestrans and the Scottish Government.’